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Rochelle Park Officer-In-Training Turns Up Drugs, Warrants In Traffic Stop

Melissa Rivera, Michael J. Cascone
Melissa Rivera, Michael J. Cascone Photo Credit: MUGSHOTS: Courtesy ROCHELLE PARK PD

ROCHELLE PARK, N.J. – A Rochelle Park police officer in field training helped find several packages of cocaine and cutting agents, along with stolen jewelry apparently intended for sale for drug money – and outstanding warrants for the passenger, authorities said.

Officer Chris Saldivia was in training with Lt. Dean Pinto when their vehicle was almost struck by a 2009 Acura near the Ramada Hotel just before 9:45 a.m. Thursday, Detective Christopher Bermudez told Daily Voice.

Saldivia, a former East Orange police officer, discovered that the passenger – identified as Melissa Rivera, 26, of East Rutherford – had several warrants for her arrest, he said.

Meanwhile, Pinto obtained consent to search the sedan from the driver, Michael J. Cascone of South Hackensack, Bermudez said.

The search “revealed numerous items of packaging and sales of narcotics, including, scales, empty baggies, 3 baggies of white powder believed to be cocaine and items used for cutting agents,” he said.

Also found was the jewelry, the detective said.

The 4-foot-11-inch, 93-pound Rivera was turned over to Haledon police on their warrant, while Cascone was released without bail pending a Sept. 9 court appearance.

Both were charged with various drug counts.

Rivera also was charged with illegally carrying handcuffs and receiving stolen property.

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